The Hamilton County Llama’s Group held its annual fundraising event Sept. 21 at Culvers in Fishers, just off Olio Road.
The group is a nonprofit that gives kids the opportunity to show llamas in the county 4-H and other competitions in the area.
Organization founder and leader of the 4-H group, Marilyn Nenni, said she started the 4-H group with her husband nearly 35 years ago to get kids involved with llama’s and 4-H in the county. The couple decided to downsize their farm, they donated all their llamas and equipment to start the group and created the nonprofit in 2015.
Today, the Hamilton County Llama’s Group has a farm on 161st street, just east of Gray Road in Noblesville. The program allows kids to “lease a llama” or take care of a certain animal without having to buy any supplies or have a farm. There are about 80 kids in the group, according to Nenni. Participants rotate to care for the animals, so someone is there nearly every day. Nenni said the kids help care for about 60 llamas.
Caring for animals teaches kids responsibility, Nenni said. She also said that many of the kids in the group are interested in going into the veterinary field, so the program also teaches them about animal health and wellness.
“(The kids are) promoting agriculture and 4-H and just learning how to work with animals and communicate and train them,” Nenni said. “It’s a great group of youth of all ages from third through 12th grade. They all work together with helping each other and training and learning about the animals. So just by working together, it provides big leadership opportunities.”